Personalities, intellectuals, writers, professors, artists, researchers, academics and activists from Argentina signed and circulated a petition requesting that 25% of the questions asked by journalists to candidates for this year’s legislative elections be on socio-environmental issues and the climate emergency.
A video helped boost the campaign’s reach, and the document already has nearly 3,000 signatures. In it, figures such as singer Julieta Venegas and Mapuche leader Jorge Nawell denounce the silence of politicians and the media in the face of the environmental crisis. The campaign carries the hashtag #NoNosDejenSolxs (“don’t leave us alone”, in free translation and respecting the use of neutral language).
Last week, images of hungry capybaras looking for food in luxury condominiums in Buenos Aires, Argentina, circulated the world. More than invaders, as most of the media claimed, they were invaded.
The marshy areas, called in Castilian wetlands, suffer from constant fires, real estate speculation and the expansion of the agricultural frontier. Environmentalists defend the wetlands bill and militancy has intensified as the climate crisis deepens.
However, little has been said about the environmental crisis in the political sphere. Argentina faces an election year after record fires, the historic drought of the Paraná River and two latent threats: the closing of the swine factory agreement with China, which has returned to the agenda in recent days, and the exploration of the Vaca Muerta oil field , in Patagonia.
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“It is not true that this is a debate of interest only to ‘environmentalists’, as they try to make it appear”, points out the undersigned document. “Zonotic pandemics or water depletion knock at everyone’s door. Therefore, it is urgent to think about a socio-environmental agenda with citizen participation.”
“The direct relationship between structural poverty and ecosystem destruction is evident,” he continues. “Political representatives have a development agenda tied to the past, expires, which does not contemplate either the present or the future of children and young people. (…) While the expansion of poor development seeks to impose itself without social license, the lack of a new worldview presupposes a disaster. According to the latest IPP report, there is irreversible damage but there is still time to reverse the worst impacts. Therefore, it is urgent that the political sector and the media rise to the challenges of this crisis.”
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In this sense, they present a long list of ecological proposals, of which the following stand out: a bill of minimum budgets for the environmental protection of wetlands; a draft national law on access to safe drinking water, which declares access to water a human right; a bill on offenses against the environment and nature; the total prohibition of clearing native forests in view of the advance of deforestation; a pesticide bill that would prohibit aerial application and within 1,500 meters of rural schools, housing and urban settlements; and a bill on access to land and promotion of agroecology as an integral system for production, marketing, agroindustrialization and food consumption.
Edition: Thales Schmidt